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This week we have been reporting on the impact millennials are having on environmental issues across society — so, which companies are poised to make the most of these attitudes? Forbes Magazine took a look at the “winners” and “losers” for millennial purchasers and found that fast casual restaurants are beating out fast food, casual and recyclable fashion companies are doing well because millennials want fewer and more versatile clothes that can go from home to office to gym (and these may be co-located), and companies that sell organic foods and products that reduce paper and plastic use and gadgets that promote the “sharing economy” and electric efficiency are all on the rise, as is ecotourism.
Why This Matters: It may seem obvious to anyone who lives in a city these days that Millennials are now driving many consumer options such as preferring dining out at fast casual places to eating in, eating more vegetables and healthy foods, and wanting an easily accessible gym and casual dress at work. Which is why companies like Noodles & Company, Sweet Green, Peloton, Uber, Zipcar, Patagonia, Dropbox, and Blue Apron are crushing it with Millennials and will see their market share grow as spending by young people increases over time. Millennials are, according to a recent survey, 76% more environmentally conscious than their parents and they are using their purchasing power to lift up this new wave of companies that suit their tastes.
Who Wins and Loses In Each Major Consumer Category?
Fashion: According to the latest data, 90% of millennials prefer clothes products from a brand whose social and environmental practices they trust and 95% of millennials would recommend that brand to a friend using their social platforms and networking devices. And they will pay more for these products and buy fewer of them — they want to reduce consumerism and replace buying more with buying sustainably. Winning companies are Patagonia, Rothy’s, Reformation, and Everlane.
Tech: Millennials prefer hybrid technology, according to Forbes, because they have grown up with computers and are comfortable combining two or more technologies to achieve efficient and eco-friendly energy systems and hybrid motor vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint — in 2018, 61% of millennials signed up for smart technologies and applications. Millennials prefer experiences over owning things and that translates to things like riding a shared bike to work, ride-sharing, and even ecotourism. Technology has made this entire segment of the economy possible. Millennials are also concerned about energy use in homes and offices and prefer smart and green buildings where energy is conserved. This even extends to health and wellness items such as wearable sports tech that promotes and tracks physical activity. Winners here are Uber, Zipcar, Peloton, Dropbox, Lime, and Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic.
The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.
Why This Matters: The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands. But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places. And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.
Why This Matters:If the global average temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, then Qatar’s average temperature will increase between 4 and 6 degrees, which would make work nearly impossible and the city could be uninhabitable. Qatar may be able to cool certain areas for now, but it cannot cool the entire country indefinitely.
Second only to electric power globally since 2010, sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales have spiked and they are now contributing hugely to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In addition, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand even as efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.
Why This Matters: This is a big double whammy on efforts to curb CO2 emissions and decrease the demand for fossil fuels for cars.